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Semen Analysis Preparation

Posted on December 1, 2017

A semen analysis serves the purpose of evaluating ejaculated sperm, and 2-3 may be required to get a full baseline because sperm counts can vary from one day to the next. The procedure is a core component of male fertility testing, and results can determine whether male factor infertility is present.

What does a semen analysis look for?

  • Volume: 1.5 ml to 5.0 ml
  • Concentration (number of sperm present per ml of the ejaculate): greater than 20 million/ml
  • Motility (percentage of sperm moving): 50% or more
  • Forward progression (of the moving sperm; the strength of their forward movement): 2+ or more
  • Morphology (percentage of normally shaped sperm): 30% or more normal shapes by WHO criteria, or 14% or more by Kruger strict criteria
  • Clumping: minimal
  • Presence of white or red blood cells: minimal
  • No hyperviscosity (thickening of seminal fluid)
  • White blood cells less than 1x106/ml

How can I prepare for a semen analysis?

  • You will be asked to refrain from both intercourse and masturbation for at least 3-5 days.
  • Your fertility specialist may also advise adjustment to certain lifestyle factors, such as avoiding alcohol, caffeine and some medications in the days leading up to the sample production.
  • You will need to wash your hands thoroughly before producing the semen sample.
  • The sample should be produced into a sterile specimen pot (provided by your fertility center). The pot will need to be labeled with your full name, date of birth, and date and time of ejaculation. If this information is not present, the sample will not be analyzed.
  • If you choose to produce a sample from the comfort and privacy of your home, please keep in mind that the sample must be kept warm and delivered to your fertility center within exactly one hour of ejaculation. Also, you cannot use a condom to transport the sample, as condoms contain spermicide.

What if my results show an issue?

Male factor infertility issues are often treatable, and fall across a spectrum. For example, there is a difference between having a low sperm count and having poor sperm motility, or no sperm count. If your semen analysis results determine that an issue is present, next steps include consulting with a fertility specialist to determine a treatment plan.

Are you seeking a semen analysis? Request a consultation with the Fertility Center of California today.

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